A woman wrote last week with a question that might be of interest to you, too.
Is it possible that your salvation is ever at risk once you’ve come to know the Lord?
In a sense, “once saved, always saved” is true, because the Gospel’s message begins with universal forgiveness. Jesus bought forgiveness for the world, past, present, and future with his blood on the cross. One hundred percent is Christ’s work. Satan himself can’t mess with it. It has happened, and cannot ever be undone.
God’s salvation comes to us by grace, through faith, he says in Ephesians Chapter 2. Although some aspects of grace and faith seem to contradict each other, they’re both true. Grace has been pronounced upon all, but only those who believe the message enjoy its benefits. And it is the Holy Spirit’s mission to connect every individual with the powerful message of God’s grace. That message, coming to us through word or through word plus baptism, is the message that converts people and creates and sustains faith.
Now here’s where the uncertainty comes in. If I’m a believer, will I ever stop being a believer? Sad to say, that is possible. The book of Hebrews, in Chapter 6 and again in Chapter 10, gives grave warnings. To despise God’s grace, after having believed in it, makes you worse off than before. The Bible evens calls that crucifying Christ all over again.
And so, can I ever fall away? Not by Christ’s losing interest in you. Could I, out of stupidity or weakness, throw away my precious inheritance? The sad answer is, yes. Jesus himself told the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed that fell among rocks and the seed that fell among the weeds had initial bursts of growth. But those who failed to sink down roots or were choked out, lost their lives, and ended up not bearing any fruit. They became scrap and firewood.
What to do? Trust and believe in God’s message to you. Stay close to his word and heed it. The “not guilty” verdict from the cross does not take away your own personal need to believe. Listen to the word, read the word, participate in Bible Studies, watch it on television. Seize the word, absorb it every chance you get. Let his powerful message continue to make your faith strong.